Despite the conventional wisdom of more and more consumers preferring the convenience and access of online shopping today, Wakefield Research finds that brick and mortar stores have more staying power than some might have realized, even with younger consumers.

Wakefield Research partnered with Oracle Netsuite to conduct a global study of 1,200 consumers and 400 retail executives across the U.S., U.K, and Australia. Our research sheds light on significant differences in customer expectations. It challenges stereotypes common to the generational perspective. Research also reveals a disconnect between consumers and retailers regarding the value that in-store shopping experiences provide.

Key take-aways from our research include:

  • Younger generations are more likely to flock to the store and enjoy their shopping experience while there. Gen Z and Millennial consumers (43%), not the Baby Boomers (13%) and Gen X (29%), will do more in-store shopping this year.  Over half (57%) of these younger generations view the retail experience positively – much more than their older cohorts.
  • Consumer expectations differ, with Gen Z wanting less and Millennials want more interaction with sales staff. More than 2 in 5 (42%) Gen Z consumers would feel more annoyed by increased interaction with retail associates. Interestingly, more than half (56%) of Millennials would feel more welcomed.
  • Brand relationships are an extension of the in-store experience. Gen Z consumers are much more likely than others to engage with brands in order to get to know them more. While this point may not be surprising, it has major implications for retailers in terms of tailoring strategies to connect with and influence consumers’ in-store purchases.

For more details on how Wakefield’s research highlighted consumer generational differences and explored the gap between consumer expectations of the in-store experience vs. what retailers believe they provide, please access the Oracle NetSuite blog.